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September 6, 2010

Edinburgh, Linlithgow Palace, Glasgow and a flight to London

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The photos below were taken from Carlton Hill.

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Linlithgow Palace is the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and is well worth the train ride from Edinburgh

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These pics are from the Glasgow School of Art designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh between 1899 and 1909. Sadly, they wouldn't allow pictures of the inside but they let me take some shots of the windows.


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An evening flight to London...

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And finally a shot from one of my favourite spots in London, the cafe at the top of the Tate Modern.

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September 4, 2010

Isle of Arran... (the final chapter)

Glenashdale Falls

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The Cock of Arran

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August 18, 2010

Ancient ruins and a pretty island (more from the Isle of Arran)

What I saw on my trip to see stone circles and standing stones...

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Traffic jam.

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I couldn't resist going out to and up Goat Fell, despite some unfriendly looking weather...

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wild ponies
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i didn't know that i was meant to bring a rock from the bottom to add to the top,
so i added a branch
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wild sheep
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July 9, 2010

Climb Every Mountain

Sorry, but I couldn't resist quoting the Sound of Music...

When I set out in the morning, I had no intention of climbing a mountain. I felt jetlagged, exhausted and lazy. I didn't really want to do anything but stay in bed and perhaps read a book. The overnight flight to Scotland and the lack of sleep before I left Canada (due to packing up and moving out of my apartment as well as excitement) had really taken it out of me. However, my pride kicked in as I was actually worried that the people in my B&B would judge me if I didn't bother to leave the house all day. Since I'd heard that the walk up Goat Fell was beautiful, I decided that I would walk part way up and when I got tired I would turn around a go back. I wasn't expecting to run in to two kind people who would encourage me all the way up the mountain.

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Goat Fell (above) is 2,866 feet. While this is just short of a Munro, it's still a mountain. So there!

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One of the few moments when you could sort of see the summit.

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View of Brodick habour

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Heather in bloom. This is the first time I've ever seen it in bloom!

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Rumour has it that this is wild cotton.

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It was so cloudy at the top that from a distance we appeared misty to each other.

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Georgia taking photos at the top.

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Emily climbing on the highest point possible.

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This was our view. We were a bit sad that we couldn't see the gorgeous view that we heard so much about, but at the same time, the clouds made it feel like we were the only things in the world. We were surrounded my nothing. There were a couple of magical moments when the clouds lifted for about 15 seconds or so and the island was revealed but these moment were too short lived to capture. But, if you stare really hard at the photo below, maybe you can just make out the coastline.

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At sunset the clouds finally lifted and showed the summit.

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July 8, 2010

on the road again...


I know it's a cheesy title, but I'm not too sure what I should call my first blog entry in well over a year. I almost feel like I should start a whole new bog since it's been so long since I've made an entry on this one. But... that would require quite a bit of effort and I don't feel like it! So there.

And so, in case you haven't guessed or heard. I am once again on the road again. I'm doing a course in Berlin (beginning mid July) and since I found a fabulously cheap flight into Glasgow June 21, I thought I would start my travels on the Isle of Arran. I'd never had a chance to see the countryside in Scotland and the guide book said that it was Scotland in miniature and so off I went...


Photos from the ferry



On the Isle of Arran. Brodick habour

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The next photos are taken on the walk from Brodick village to Brodick Castle.


Salmon berries. Not very sweet, but I still thought they were yummy





Looking back towards Brodick, the largest village on Arran and my home base.




Brodick with the ferry coming in

Brodick Castle. I got there too late in the day to go into the Castle, but I could still explore the grounds. Original parts of the castle date back to 1307 with the newer sections dating from 1844.

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A small fern growing on the wall of the castle
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The rest of the photos were taken on the coastal walk back to Brodick.

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The mountain in the background is Goat Fell. It is the largest peak on the island and I climbed it the next day.

April 29, 2008

Another London Entry

My flight to Canada was from London to Montreal. Why, you might be wondering? Because, it is impossible to buy a direct flight from Dublin to Canada before the 1st of May. And so, not unhappily, I dragged myself back to London for a quick couple of days of sight seeing and visiting friends. Oh, and in case you were wondering why I went back to Canada, well... Ontario gives each of its residents 2 years worth of total travelling time before they cut off your OHIP privileges and since I've now been away for over two years I have to put my feet on Canadian soil every six months or lose my OHIP, which would create more headaches than I wish to deal with.

So, back to London. My first stop (after dropping off my bags) was Camden to jack myself up on caffeine and survey what damage remained from the fire.

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Green Park. An lovely place to lounge on a sunny afternoon.

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A random statue in Berkeley Square

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Trafalgar Square

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And lastly a witty political mural in Islington. For those of you who don't know, Tesco's is a very large grocery store chain in the UK and Ireland that many people feel wields unfair power in the marketplace.

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February 9, 2008

Camden

I interrupt the Hong Kong Diaries to bring you some images of Camden market.

I've been staring at the tv in disbelief for the last hour watching images of giant orange flames licking the London sky. Its heartbreaking to watch such a beautiful, unique and historical part of town burning. Camden is one of my favourite bits of Londontown. My very first trip to London way back in 2001, I stayed in Camden with Renate. We fell in love with the area immediately.

The news is delivering conflicting reports about what has been burnt and what hasn't. One minute its mainly warehouses and The Hawley Arms, the next they say perhaps the Canal Market has also burned. I assume by tomorrow things will be clearer.

I don't like it when places that I love are destroyed.

These night photos were taken less than a month ago, on the 23rd of Jan.

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These are from October 21st, 07

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July 3rd, 2007 - Gilgamesh - Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road

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The food here is gorgeous. Pricey, but well worth it.

++++ Sunday, Feb. 10 ++++

Some of you asked for updated news on the Camden fire, so I'm adding this little note to the blog. Firstly, and most importantly, there were no casualties or injuries. Amazing consdering how large the fire was and how quickly it spread. At this point no one knows how the fire started, but it is known where it started.

The stalls that were affected were in the Canal Market, not in the main part of the market. All of the photos that I featured above are in the main market.

When I first heard about the fires I heard if from Sky News. They are a bit trashy (kinda like Fox in America), but they do have a lot of video footage and other links here.

I think Sky mentioned that Amy Winehouse drank at Hawley Arms at least 30 times in the hour that I was watching their footage. At one point they even managed to mention her name twice in one sentence. When they grew momentarily tired of repeating Amy's name, they latched on the work 'artisans' to describe Camden's crowd and then repeated that with glee for the next 10 minutes. Honestly! The reporters were shockingly transparent in their excitement over the big news.

The BBC is a little less sensational and more reliable in their reporting.

The RTÉ reports on the number of people out of work because of the fire. Not to be remiss, the good people at the RTÉ also make sure to get Amy Winehouse's name in the article. Has anyone reached Amy Winehouse for a comment on how everyone seems more concerned that that she's lost her supposedly favourite haunt, than any other fallout resulting from this fire?

The Camden Council's list of all affected properties.

January 6, 2008

xmas time ... part 4 ... The Year Before

Well, the season lasts until the 7th (right?), and so I think I'm still within my rights to call this an xmas entry.

Oh, what to post, what to post. I have several backlogged entries now, but limited internet time. I just had a look back though my blog and it seems as though I neglected to ever post the photos from last Christmas! The day was spent in Perth, Australia. I was at a fantastic hostel, the Governor Robinsons. The owner of the hostel put out such an amazing spread of food and drink for us that he couldn't have possibly made a dime off our being there. And so let me sell the place to you once again... Should you find yourself in Perth, Oz and are a hostel type person, do set yourself up at the Governor Robinsons, a lovely homey cozy establishment.

I don't have a lot of pictures from actual Christmas Day, but I do have two here. This one is from Christmas morning. We (we being, friends I had made traveling through Western Oz) spent that morning at the beach; lounging, swimming and generally thinking, "Wow! This isn't much like Christmas at home!

This one is from later in the day after we sneaked into another hostel's pool for some fun and then went to this park to hangout and make up new sports games :)

More pictures of Perth:


++++

After publishing this entry, I discovered some more photos that I thought should be included.

A few more photos taken of Christmas day:

The Art Gallery of Western Australia:

King's Park:

My flight on Dec. 26th, 2006 from Perth to Brisbane:

** This little update was done on the early morning of Jan. 27, 2008

January 1, 2008

xmas ... part 3 ... the HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! edition

These photos were taken during Edinburgh's annual Hogmanay party. A party so popular you don't even have to make an effort to walk, the crowd just pushes you along.

Edinburgh looked even more magical than usual; all dolled up for the holiday season.

A couple of the monsters from the "Monster Mash/Nite A Fore" party on the 30th:

And here's the first video I've ever uploaded to this blog (Click to view). Please let me know if you have any trouble viewing it.

Sitting in here my Edinburgh guest house and looking back, it seems like an obviously decadent decision to hit three cities in ten days. (Well, to be be truthful, four cities. We spent one night and an afternoon in Glasgow.) But I'm awfully glad that I did. It started very early on the 23rd when, after no sleep at all, I lugged myself to the Dublin airport to catch a very early morning flight to London:

I was thrilled by the way that the low lying fog looked like Christmas decorations across the United Kingdom.

I don't have many photos of my time in London, but here's a few:

Some slightly over-jolly Santas:

The next photo was taken on the ferry to France. We decided to take the ferry and bus combo in an effort to save money and reduce our carbon footprint:

Paris was its usual enchanting self. I love taking photos of this city, and always seem to take far too many.

The character (not Santa) in the photos above and below is the creation by the artist, Jérôme Mesnager as part of his Ghosts of Paris project.

The next photo was taken in March of 2005, the last time I was in Paris:


December 28, 2007

Xmas ... part deuX

Hmmm... Its past Christmas now, so I feel a bit funny calling this entry "an early Christmas..." again, but, since I have no pictures of actual Christmas day. I thought I'd post some more pictures from Wales.

In case you were curious, this entry is being uploaded from a pub in Paris during my Xtra special Xmas tour. Christmas day was spent with Sue-Li and James, in James' lovely home in London. We wasted away the day extremely effectively in our pajamas eating, drinking, making merry and watching tv. On Boxing Day Sue-Li and I moved along to Paris and tomorrow we head to Glasgow and Edinburgh to celebrate New Year's.

Anyway... back to Wales... here's some pictures of the view from our folly :-}


More images from our Wale(s)ing adventures:

... and while I'm on the subject of Wales ... here's a smattering of photos of my first visit to Wales. These were taken on October 25th during some downtime while I waited to the ferry to wisk me away to my new home in Dublin:

an ancient roman wall:

the best part of Holyhead:


December 9, 2007

An early Christmas in Wales


(photo taken in Dublin Port, from the ferry to Wales)

Last Sunday I hopped on a ferry from Dublin to Holyhead to meet my New Zealand friends for a few days of R&R in North Wales. We spent our 3 nights together celebrating, stuffing our faces in true Xmas style, playing games, and exploring Wales. It was a wonderful little trip despite the fact that both my fast ferries to and from Wales were canceled to to high winds and I was forced to take the 3 1/2 hour slow boat. It was pretty exciting to see the waves crashing into our boat and feeling the ferry tip back and forth to the rhythm of the sea. I guess its lucky for me that I don't get sea sick!

We knew we all wanted to do something for Christmas, especially because Ella, Pete and their new baby Joesph were giving up the Manchester home to travel for a couple of months and then start the long trip home to New Zealand. Sue-Li had the inspired idea to rent us out a Folly (read about Follies here).

Our folly, Brynkir Tower (links here and here), was six stories high with a well stocked kitchen, a comfy living room with a fireplace, a brilliant bathroom including a grand old bathtub, two large bedrooms and stunning views.

Here's an excessive amount of photos of our Folly:

Our yard:

One of our little side trips was to the faux town of Portmeirion, location for the 60's television show, The Prisoner:

September 17, 2007

poor poor negleced blog...

I didn't mean to ignore my blog for so long. I thought of it often and have wanted to update, but I've been sooooo busy since the last time I wrote. I would love to to an in depth entry on all of the places I've been, but instead I think I'll have to do a big summary posting and hopefully go back at some point and fill in the blanks. The last time I wrote was way back in the end of June. At that point I was once again, trying to catch up with my blogging and was telling the story of Cambodia. This entry then, really continues from May Daze.

June was a very packed month. Whenever I wasn't working I was spending time with family and friends. It was great to make it back up to Lake Clear and area for Auntie Ruth's anniversary.


This photo was taken on the road trip to the Lake.

These are from the celebration in Pembroke:

Father's Day was celebrated with a brunch in Golden Lake:

My last days in Toronto were spent at Wonderland with family and then Pride with friends:

On June 25th I excitedly flew to London:

It was a nice, seemingly non-eventful flight until we were landing about an hour early. When the pilot announced our descent I looked out the window and thought, "Gee, London seems a bit small and green..." What the pilot should've said, was "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Belfast International Airport." But he couldn't say that because he didn't want to tip off the drunken customer in the back that he was about to be arrested.

We stayed in Belfast for about 2 hours while different customers and staff were questioned by police and the rest of the passengers found out all the gossip about our dangerous fellow commuter. We weren't allowed to leave the plane, but they would let us stick our heads out for some air.

It was a relief to finally land in London. I had just enough time to catch up with friends and take in some of London Pride,

before flying off to Berlin. First stop, the Berlin Wall:
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Renate (my friend that I rushed off to London to visit) arranged for us to stay with her wonderful friends Miriam and Anett in their gorgeous apartment in East Berlin. Very luckily for us, they owned 4 bicycles and we spent all of Saturday exploring Berlin by bike.

I'll have to get back to the Berlin tale another time. I'm running out of time to write up this entry.

Next stop was back in London. Much of the time in London I spent working on a facebook application called "the School Bus" with my sister Jennifer and her husband Cory. Its our first little project together so if you've been debating about joining facebook, I think you should join now so you can play with our game!!!

Much of July and the beginning of August was spent bouncing between London:

and Manchester:

staying with friends and picking up bits of work. On August 14th my friend Sue-li and I took the train up to Edinburgh to check out some of the Fringe festival. By August 20th I'd had enough of one of the rainiest summers in English history and ran away to Spain for the rest of the month. I'm now back in London, replenishing my bank account and slowly getting myself together for the move up to Ireland.

Much more photos and stories about my travels to come soon, but for now I have to take my poor little computer to the shop for a few days for a re-vamp and repairs. See you all on the cyberside soon!